Ripley’s Believe It or Not! 2017: Our Favourite Strange Stories

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! 2017: Our Favourite Strange Stories

Tyler Sutter and Carl Skenes – 20 Penny Circus

Combining comedy, contortions, stunts, and shock tactics, Tyler Sutter and Carl Skenes – better know as 20 Penny Circus – put on quite a show!

Don’t be deceived by their makeup: these performers don’t make balloon animals or otherwise clown around. Instead, this dark and twisted duo focus on the seedier side of magic, and aim to please “those of questionable taste!”

The pinnacle of their performance is nail gun Russian roulette, a stunt that they are now more hesitant to perform. During a 2015 show, Carl actually shot a nail through his hand! They also test the limits of the human body with such traditional stunts as sword swallowing, walking on glass and ritualistic mutilation – all with unmistakable 20 Penny Circus flair!

Matilda – Alien Eyes Cat

Matilda, a two-year-old tabby cat from Canada, has huge, glassy, alien-like eyes as a result of a condition called spontaneous lens luxation, a genetic disorder in which the lens of the eye completely dislocates from its usual position.

A normal-looking kitten, her pupils started to become enlarged after her first birthday and now make it difficult for her to see.

Her distinctive appearance has earned her over 105,000 followers on Instagram!

Tisha Cherry Saravitaya – Cookie Canvas

We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t play with your food!” But Tisha Cherry Saravitaya of Brooklyn , New York, breaks this rule by using a unique canvas for her food – Oreos.

Using the crème filling, Saravitaya paints pop-culture-inspired masterpieces – from Warhols to emojis – on the cookies!

Dai Andrews

Starting with a Fisher-Price® magic set he received for his fifth birthday and progressing to mind-over-body feats, 38-year-old Dai Andrews has increased his skills beyond tricks and illusions, performing escape artistry, fire eating, and his personal favorite, sword swallowing. His performances include swallowing a saber blade curved 120 degrees, and even a sword heated with a blowtorch!

Making these feats even more impressive is that he struggles with essential tremors, a chronic, degenerative nerve condition that causes his hands to shake occasionally.

Dai has traveled to over 40 countries around the world—studying yoga and traditional mindover- body demonstrations with the sadhus and fakirs of India as well as martial arts in China and Thailand.

Chicken Church

It’s not a chicken, and it’s not a church.

In 1989, Daniel Alamsjah of Jakarta, Indonesia, had a vision of a dove-shaped, nondenominational house of prayer on a hill. Soon, Alamsjah and 30 locals began construction on this unique piece of architecture in the dense forests of Central Java.

Although the red-beaked building was never completed – the building has been abandoned since 2002 – it still ruffles the tail feathers of fascinated tourists!

Jet Men

In May 2015, Swiss daredevil Yves “Jetman” Rossy and his protégé, skydiver and BASE jumper Vince Reffet, soared through the skies above the deserts of Dubai using Rossy’s latest custom-made jet packs.

Reaching speeds of up to 186 miles per hour (300 km/h), the pair, known as Jetman Dubai, became the first to complete a twin human formation flight over landmarks that included the iconic Burj Khalifa, the Palm Jumeirah, and the Liwa Desert.

Each jet pack weighed in at 120 lbs. (54 kg) and featured a 7 ft. (2.1 m) wingspan and four kerosenepowered jet engines.

Lady in Licorice

Believe it or not, this luscious dress is made out of licorice!

Created from Twizzlers® by Wilmer Lam of Orlando, Florida, there are more than one million miles (1.6 million km) of the tasty candy produced each year.

That’s enough Twizzlers to stretch from the Earth to the Moon and back again — five times!

Stained Glass Sleeper Car

At the 2015 London Design Festival, UK artist Dominic Wilcox revealed his vision for the future of transport – a stained glass-covered, driverless car with a bed.

The hand-cut, stained glass shell was constructed using the same technique used to make Tiffany lamps, and opens to reveal only a bed inside, where the passenger can sleep while the car takes them to their destination.

Wilcox believes that by 2059, it will be “statistically proven” that computer-controlled driverless cars are safer than those driven by people. At that point, he said, “We will simply require a living space on wheels.”

Straw Peacock

Quebec city artist Nathanael Cantin used over 15,000 neon drinking straws to create this one-of-a-kind peacock statue.

This brightly colored bird stands 67 in. (170cm) high and 52 in. (132cm) long – and glows in the dark!

Dawn of Chimes

In 2014, Grand Rapids, Michigan artist Stanley Skopek created Dawn of Chimes, a dinosaur formed from numerous brass musical instruments.

As a lifelong fan of Ripley’s, Skopek’s dream is to have one of his incredible musical instrument 3D sculptures in every Odditorium in the world!

You’ll be able to see this 6ft. (2m) high and 12ft. (4m) long rhapsodic raptor at the new Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium in Amsterdam.

Sheep Dunny

In 2015, Irvinestown, Ireland’s 37th Annual Lady of the Lake Festival introduced sheep dung spitting to its festivities. It is exactly what it sounds like – participants take sheep excrement into their mouths and attempt to spit it the farthest. Remarkably, 48 competitors participated, including the festival queen, the Lady of the Lake, Eimear Donnelly. After a heated tiebreaker, Mark Leonard won first place with a 29.5ft (9m) spit!

Competition creator, organiser, and participant Joe Mahon was inspired by a few pints of beer and similar spitting competitions in Africa, such as Bokdrol spoeg, where participants spit kudu antelope dung. He claims that one competition entrant, Paddy McCann, spat his dung 12ft. (4m) with his dentures in, but when told to remove them and try again, he ended up swallowing it!

Ripley’s Believe it or Not 2017

The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! annual has now firmly established itself as a Christmas must-have, with an ever-growing army of loyal fans.

Following hot on the heels of last year’s Top 10 best-seller, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! 2017 offers a completely new compendium of strange but true facts and amazing stories, ranging from the Polar Bear robot, to the edible human skull, to the woman who still suffers from sea-sickness three years after her last boat trip, to the Swiss daredevil who soars over famous landmarks in his custom-made jet pack.

Packed with amazing photographs and jaw-dropping facts, and with an out-of-this-world 3D-effect cover, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! 2017 offers a feast of information and entertainment.

Prepare yourself for this year’s collection of eye-popping oddities!